About This Festival
From the Organizer
Beginning in the late 1960's as a marching band competition, the annual Maple Leaf Festival took its name from Mother Nature. Every year, surrounded by an array of glorious fall colors, the city of Carthage proudly welcomes 80,000+ visitors to this wonderful fall celebration. Every year, on the third Saturday of October, the biggest day of the festival begins with the largest parade in Southwest Missouri. This keystone event begins at 9 a.m. and ends around noon. The parade route begins on the Carthage Historic Square and ends at the Carthage Middle School. Numerous events are scheduled throughout the day to entertain young and young at heart including a marching band festival, art & crafts vendors, car and tractor shows, wine tasting, quilt show, food vendors, and live entertainment. The rest of the festival is filled with a variety of activities including art and museum exhibits, lobster boil, bike tour, latino festival, carnival, circus, evening 5K, beauty pageants, baby and toddler contests, dog show, gospel sing, cruise-in, bake sale, costume ball, and a lip-syncing competition. Celebrating its 51st year in 2017, the Maple Leaf Festival offers family style fun in a home town atmosphere.